Watch the Door
“Watch the door,” Marc said as he backed in the private lane behind our house. I had dozed on the way home from church, and groggily tried to understand what he wanted. Because of my unique female ability to think of four different options to every single male statement, I wondered what he meant by “watch the door”.
- Did he want me to watch the garage door to make sure he didn’t back into it?
- Did he want me to use the automatic door opener and open the garage door for him?
- Did he want me to watch the truck door as I opened it, to make sure the wind didn’t blow it out of my hands?
- Did he want me to watch so the dog wouldn’t jump in at the door and get dirt on my clothes?
I was running out of options. What did he mean by watch the door?
Surely my mind was not so sleepy that I was incapable of understanding plain English. Or was I? I hadn’t been paying attention, and I was caught off guard.
I was wrong—four times. Turns out he just wanted me to be careful as I opened the door, so it wouldn’t swing into the old washing machine he had removed from the house the day before, and left sitting there enjoying its day of rest before being hauled off.
Well, that’s plain enough, but Marc was a bit surprised that I couldn’t understand plain English, and I was a bit surprised that he couldn’t speak plain English. I chuckled as I pictured another scenario if I hadn’t gotten the message in time – me watching the door all right — watching it slam smack dab into the side of the washing machine. Oops!
Watch the door was good and adequate advice if I had been paying attention and gotten the right message the first time.
But, how many times do I miss the advice because I misinterpret the message?
We receive many messages every day from the culture, our family and friends, the news media, the actions of our children, our own frail emotions and feelings. What do they all mean? How do we take the messages and turn them into insightful advice? What are we supposed to do with all the conflicting messages?
Sometimes the best we can do is watch the door.
Every day a dilemma will present itself, a message out of nowhere, addressed to you. Like an unexpected package on your doorstep, you won’t know what’s inside. At first, you might not know how to react, or what it means, or what to do. But, because you have prepared yourself with truth, and you walk by faith and not sight, you will rightly divide the word of truth, and you will interpret the right message, just in time. The unexpected delivery might startle you for a moment, but don’t worry about those unknowns, because you’ve been watching the door, and you’re prepared.
Some ways you can watch the door:
- Make an intentional effort to be aware of the obstacles you face and your own weaknesses (anger, impatience, lack of joy, procrastination).
- Look around and assess the pitfalls (lack of routine, schedule, diligence, discipline or inconsistency).
- Take an inventory of what you need to address in your life, and take some small steps in the right direction (refine that budget, start an exercise plan, simplify).
- Watch the door for potential enemies who might be lurking, attempting get in your way, to trip you up.
- Get the proper tools to be effective; fill yourself with the Word of Truth.
- Eliminate distractions and things that disrupt your effect; lay aside the hindering weights (Hebrews 12:1)
- Strengthen your arms for the task. (Proverbs 31:17)
- Watch for opportunities and unexpected blessings.
- Grasp the beautiful moments and hold on to their real value.
- Identify what is truly worthwhile, and pursue it.
- Take joy in the simple beauty of life.
- Be not weary in well doing. (Galatians 6:9)
- Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks. Love never fails.
- When opportunity knocks, open the door wide. You’ve been expecting it!
We don’t have to be caught unaware, or sleeping. We don’t have to be afraid of the culture or the times. We don’t live in fear of the deliveryman and the unexpected package, for we know each message is full of purpose and destiny, to perfect and train us for more important works.
There is a plan and a purpose, and He who watches over you will not slumber (Psalm 121). Be prepared. Heads up! Watch the door means — get ready for your life!
You have an important job to do in 2013, and you need to be at your best, your strongest, and your most effective this year. Just keep an ear tuned; keep an eye out. Watch the door!
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Habakkuk 2:1
What about you? What are you watching for in 2013? How are you preparing yourself to be effective and proficient – and joyful?